GREAT FALLS - Gas prices have been hitting record highs and car dealerships are seeing people shy away from their gas guzzlers and set their sights on much more fuel-efficient cars.
AAA has been reporting Montana’s gas price average is over $4 while diesel is inching closer to $6 — almost double over what was seen a year ago.
“Practicality wise, with the total cost on a vehicle, if you could save a few bucks on the gas tank, that definitely helps it out too you know," said Rudy Bleskin of Bleskin Motors in Great Falls.
The biggest theme the dealership is seeing is the switch in trade-in vehicles.
“SUVs - Suburbans Tahoes, Expeditions — stuff like that. We see a lot of people trade those," Bleskin said. You know, [people are] stepping it down into...midsize — and get stuff more practical for them.”
Bleskin added that as prices rise, they expect to continue to see a rise in demand for fuel efficiency — and the dealership has been stocking up.
“We like to keep good fuel economy cars. I mean, we’ll still have her trucks and everything like that," Bleskin said. But definitely, something we look for — and right now with the time going on — we are definitely stocking up a little bit more than we normally do.”
Other dealerships MTN News spoke with noted that fuel efficiency has been a much larger factor in the last few months than ever before.